James Brown, the renowned “Godfather of Soul,” is given the Award of Merit for his lifetime contribution to music.
James Brown, the renowned "Godfather of Soul," joined Bing Crosby, Irving Berlin, Ella Fitzgerald, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, and Elvis Presley as a recipient of the Award of Merit for his lifetime contribution to music. Brown has put an imprint on virtually every Black musical movement since the 1950s. He is credited with influencing soul, funk, disco, and rap either with his songwriting or with his trademark gravelly voice. Brown's performances are punctuated with screams, screeches, grunts, moans, and dramatic body movement. Many rap singers have copied his style or have used portions of his recordings, a technique known as "sampling," in their own performances. Only the late Elvis Presley has appeared more often on the pop song charts. Brown has had ninety-four songs in the top 100 and more top-20 singles than any other musician in history.